By Yankee Rose
One of the great things about reading is the ability to bond over books. Strangers notice what you are reading and are often compelled to ask about your book and recommend books they like. This happens to me all the time. Seriously. I confess this may be a direct function of the amount of time I spend reading, but MARTA riders, elevator passengers, and midtown pedestrians have all felt the need to comment on whatever I have in my hands. As much as I enjoy quiet when I read, these little distractions are well worth my time. They often lead to great recommendations based on what you are currently reading—like Pandora or iTunes Genius for books. The Spellman Files Series was one of those recommendations.
Lisa Lutz‘s latest novel, Revenge of the Spellmans, is the third in what is doubtlessly going to be a long series (think Nancy Drew long). Although Lisa Lutz is an experienced author with over ten years of articles and screenplays under her belt, 2007′s The Spellman Files was her debut novel. Now she’s on a roll. The next installment of this series, The Spellmans Strike Again, is already scheduled to be released March 2010.
I was slightly skeptical when I picked up all three books in The Spellman Series. Their bright colors and graphic cover art made me really question this particular recommendation. But after devouring the first two Spellmans, I could not wait to break into the third. Our narrator, Isabel Spellman, works as a private investigator for her parents at Spellman Investigations. While Isabel does not have a squeaky clean past herself, she manages to hang on to her private investigators license and her work leads to an ongoing saga of high speed car chases and endlessly boring stakeouts. Growing up in a family of investigators, Isabel is naturally suspicious of most people. Of course, this leads her to all sorts of trouble when she recreationally investigates neighbors, friends, and even her parents. While the plot may seem routine, the delivery isn’t. Lutz is downright side-splitting at times. This book got embarrassing to read in public (people stare when you giggle). The gift to cover 350 plus pages without a good place to stop is one that most authors aren’t blessed with.
In the end, I was waiting for the elevator to appear when I got caught reading the last few pages of Revenge of The Spellmans by the person who recommended it to me. She looked me in the eye and said “Paperback crack, isn’t it?” Suddenly seeing myself from the outside, a clear addict who was starting to showing outward signs of sleep deprivation from late night reading, I laughed out loud and had to admit how good these books really are.
Posted in Books.
– August 14, 2009